BELLEVILLE – Dr. Tandra Taylor, an assistant history professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE), has been announced as interim director of the Institute for Community Justice and Racial Equity (ICJRE).
The ICJRE is at the Southwestern Illinois Justice and Workforce Development Center in Belleville and works on equity, racial justice, and transformational change for southwestern Illinois’ historically marginalized, disenfranchised, and oppressed people.
“SIUE is highly engaged in the educational and communal work of equity, racial and social justice, as demonstrated in our curriculum, co-curricular programming, and civic and community partnerships with the greater MetroEast community,” said Dr. Jessica Harris, vice chancellor for anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion at SIUE. “Through the ICJRE and with Dr. Taylor’s leadership, I have no doubt that the University will continue to advance its academic mission to solve pressing social problems and prepare students to be change-makers in the community.”
“When I think about the possibilities of the ICJRE, I envision it as a catalyst in the process of creating an equitable, vibrant society in the greater Metro-East wherein Black people and people of color thrive and achieve broad social mobility that structural racism has long denied them,” said Taylor.
Taylor is an East St. Louis native. Her research background is in African-American education and labor history.
“As the interim director of the Institute, I will establish the goals of the ICJRE to align with the university’s strategic plan and advance its educational mission,” Taylor added. “SIUE has and is taking strides in its efforts to achieve inclusive excellence, and my role contributes by closing gaps between SIUE and important communities whose access to foundational pathways to achieve social mobility has been restricted due to systemic racism.”
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